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Thursday, 02 April 2020

Former Brazil striker Adriano plays first match for nearly two years

Reuters, Friday 14 Feb 2014
Adriano of Brazil's Atletico Paranaense gestures to his fans after the Copa Libertadores soccer match against Bolivia's The Strongest in Curitiba February 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Former Brazil and Inter Milan forward Adriano played his first match for nearly two years when he made a late cameo appearance in Atletico Paranaense's 1-0 win over The Strongest in the Libertadores Cup.

Adriano barely had time to get a touch of the ball after coming on as an 85th minute substitute but was still emotional after making his latest comeback at the age of 31.

"I've been battling every day to reach my target," he told reporters after Thursday's match against the Bolivian side.

"I've gone through so many things in my life and taking part in an important competition such as the Libertadores makes me happy and emotional."

Once known as the Emperor, Adriano's career reached its peak when he was top-scorer for Brazil at the 2004 Copa America in Peru and the Confederations Cup in Germany the following year.

Beset by drinking and weight problems, his career has been steadily going downhill since then and he had not played a game since leaving Corinthians in March 2012. He joined Flamengo later the same year but did not play a match.

A first-half goal by Paulinho Dias gave Paranaense the victory in their opening Group One match.

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